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Basic skills and positions in Synchronised Swimming

October 25, 2021

One of the most sophisticated and elegant sports, which surprises with its complexity and makes athletes experience serious physical exertion. In this article, we will look at the basic skills, movements, and positions in synchronized swimming.

What are the basic skills of artistic swimming?

— breath control

— buoyancy

— coordination of movements

— endurance and flexibility

— grace

Let's consider each of them closer.

In synchronized swimming, an athlete needs to have a high level of general and special training, providing not only the development of physical qualities but also mastering the necessary knowledge.

The nature of training highlights the development of the ability to work with breath retention. Sometimes it is necessary to hold your breath for 20-40 seconds.  Athletes should have healthy laryngological organs: ears, throat, nose, as they spend a long time underwater.

Artists should be able to easily hold on and lie on the water without much effort. They must perform various figures and elements of synchronized swimming techniques, focusing all their attention on high-quality performance, disclosure of the musical theme, image. In this regard, one of the primary qualities is high buoyancy.

Moving in the water without support under feet, rotating around different axes of the body require synchronists to navigate perfectly, have a high level of coordination abilities. These qualities are formed and trained with the help of preparatory exercises during acrobatic and choreographic training — on land and in water.

To perform the figures of the mandatory program, compositions in pairs, and group performances, synchronists must hold complex static poses. Such main qualities as endurance and flexibility are needed here.

women's synchronized swimming


Teaching synchronized swimming it is necessary to learn new positions, arm and leg movements. The artistic swimming routine includes the study of four sports styles of swimming, (especially for beginners), the ability to synchronize their actions with the team.


Basic positions

1. On the back

The swimmer is in a horizontal position on the surface of the water, the torso is stretched out, the pelvis must be held as high as possible, the legs are together and stretched. The face is directed upwards. The muscles of the back and abdomen are tense. The hands are located at the hips or behind the head.

2. On the chest

The synchronized swimmer is in a horizontal position on the surface of the water face down, legs together, pulled back. The face may be slightly raised or lowered into the water. The arms are located at the hips or stretched forward.

Besides these starting positions, there are other combinations of poses. Mastering them is the knowledge and application of the basics of technical training.

3. On the side

The athlete's body is completely on the side, slightly bent in the lumbar. The face is above the water, hips are at the surface. Performing supporting strokes, the arms are arranged as follows: the upper one at the hip, the lower one is stretched out behind the head parallel to the surface of the water.

4. The leg is bent at the knee

This position is performed on the back or on the chest. The hands perform supporting strokes at the hips. One leg is bent at the knee and pressed with the thumb of the foot to the inside of the outstretched leg.


women's synchronized swimming



5. On the chest, bending the knee

 The body is bent at the waist. One leg is straight, the other is bent at the knee, the foot is pressed against the straightened leg..

6. Angle up

 Lying on the back, both legs are raised vertically upwards. Hips — as high as possible to the surface of the water.

7. Angle up in the dive

 The body is submerged parallel to the surface of the water. The torso is straightened. One leg is straight, the other is raised vertically up the water level — at the ankle.

8. Angle up with both feet in the dive

 The body is submerged parallel to the surface of the water. Both legs are raised up perpendicular to the surface.

9. Flamingo

The athlete lies on the back, slightly at an angle to the surface, with the face looking up. One leg (near the water surface) is bent at the knee and hip joints, the other is stretched perpendicular upwards. Hands at the hips perform strokes.


synchronized swimming



10. Grouping

 In the back position, the legs are bent at the hip and knee joints and pulled as close to the chest as possible. The shins and outstretched feet are on the surface.

11. Reverse grouping

 The body is positioned vertically with the head down. Grab your knees and press as close as possible to your chest, the pelvis is at the water surface.

12. On the back, bent over

The athlete lays on the back parallel to the surface of the water. Straight legs with outstretched toes are pulled as close to the face as possible.

13. Horizontal angle

The body is bent at the hip joints. Straight legs are located on the surface of the water.

14. Angle down in the dive

 In the chest position, the body is located parallel below the water. One leg is straight, the other is directed vertically downwards and forms a 90 angle.

15. Vertical

The athlete's torso is vertically stretched upside down perpendicular to the water level. The legs are joined together, the arms perform strokes.

16. Crane

The body is in an upright position, head down. The torso is straightened. One leg is straight, the other is bent at the hip joint and is located on the surface of the water or slightly below it, forming a 90 angle.

17. The splits

The body is in an upright position, head down. One leg is stretched forward on the surface of the water and forms a 90 angle with the body, the other in the same position is symmetrically stretched back. Try to maintain the highest possible position.

18. Angle up, bending over

The body is in an upright position, head down. One leg forms a straight line with the body, and the other is stretched back.

Perfect mastery of the basic positions contributes to individual skills improvement and is the basis of all types of synchronized swimming competitions. It determines the high level of performance in pairs and group programs.


synchronized swimming


To become a true master in such sport you need to overcome so many obstacles, train your body and mind. Do not forget to use different tips on your training process and appearance. Remember that artistic swimming is not just about the sport, it is about art too.

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